An estimated 111,000 people were injured in accidents involving large trucks on U.S. roadways in 2014, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, recovering compensation for injuries suffered in truck accidents can become complicated because many entities may be liable for the accident, including the driver, the owner of the trucking company, and the vehicle manufacturer.
Who Can Be Held Responsible After a Truck Accident?
Often, large trucks are used for shipping large items or large quantities of items across the U.S. Many people handle those items, service the trucks, and are part of the process that gets products where they need to go. Consequently, when there’s a trucking accident, it’s possible that more than just one driver or both are responsible, including:
- The trucking company. If the driver of the truck is an employee of the company, the company is responsible to pay for any costs associated with the accident—as long as the driver was acting within the scope of his employment, as outlined in the company manual.
- The owner of the truck. Sometimes, the company who dispatches the truck and its driver is not the entity who owns the truck. In this case, the owner who leased the truck to the trucking company could be held responsible for any damages caused by an accident.
- The cargo company. Sometimes trucking accidents occur because of improper loading or dangerous weight distribution when the trailer is packed and readied to deliver products. If either happens, the company, as well as the individuals who loaded the truck, could be held responsible if there’s an accident.
- The manufacturer of any part of the truck. Because large trucks often travel long distances and carry heavy loads, a truck’s engine works hard and needs frequent maintenance. If, during the process of replacing parts and making repairs, the part manufacturers or mechanics make mistakes, they could be held responsible for an accident. A poorly manufactured part could be faulty and malfunction, or a mechanic could install a part incorrectly, causing a system failure and accident. In these cases, the part manufacturers, truck mechanics, or their employers could be held liable for injuries, damages, and lost wages associated with the accident.
We Can Help
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a large truck, you may have questions about compensation for your injuries. The experienced legal team at Duffy & Feemster provides quality legal services to accident victims just like you. To get started on your case, reach out to us by filling out our online contact form.